giant Cypress

A monk asked Joshu, “What is the meaning of
Bodhidharma's coming to China?”
Joshu said, “The oak tree in the garden.”

A monk asked Zhaozhou, “What is the living meaning of Zen?”
Zhaozhou said, “The cypress tree in the yard.”
giant Cypress
Wilbur Pan lives in New Jersey, and is responsible for what goes on here. This is mainly about Japanese woodworking tools and other wooddorking things. Plus stupid jokes.

You can ask a question using the “Ask” link above, or through the contact information at the bottom of the page.
Four years ago, I wrote how the oft-mentioned adage “Shiny=sharp” might not be the best method of achieving a sharp edge. Also, in sharpening demonstrations that I’ve given over the years, I mention that the best and most direct way to see what you’re doing is to use a magnifying glass to check your edge as you go along.
This photo is from an article titled “Avoid Common Sharpening Mistakes” in the current issue of Wood magazine. I’m not saying that I was the source of these ideas, but it’s nice to see that mainstream woodworking magazines are mentioning the same strategies. Makes me think I might know what I’m doing.

Four years ago, I wrote how the oft-mentioned adage “Shiny=sharp” might not be the best method of achieving a sharp edge. Also, in sharpening demonstrations that I’ve given over the years, I mention that the best and most direct way to see what you’re doing is to use a magnifying glass to check your edge as you go along.

This photo is from an article titled “Avoid Common Sharpening Mistakes” in the current issue of Wood magazine. I’m not saying that I was the source of these ideas, but it’s nice to see that mainstream woodworking magazines are mentioning the same strategies. Makes me think I might know what I’m doing.

A thought experiment on dovetail strength

The subject of the strength of dovetail joints came up in the Woodnet hand tool forum recently, and I realized that although I had always thought of a dovetail as being a very strong joint, I never had tried to work through why that might be the case.

My assumption had been that a dovetail was strong because of mechanical strength. The dovetail joint does provide some long grain-to-long grain glue surfaces, but I had always thought that this was a relatively minor factor, with the mechanical interlocking nature of the joint being the real hero in this story.

So let’s make a dovetail joint with two 3/4” thick boards. Here’s one of them, seen from the end.

image

And let’s lay out some dovetails. These are going to be utilitarian dovetails, such as you might do for a crate. No thought is going to be put into trying to emulate fancy London pattern dovetails, with their skinny pins. Just plain old dovetails, laid out fairly evenly.

image

The darker brown lines are the surfaces that you would paint with glue, and provide the long grain-to-long grain glue bond. Remember that these surfaces are 3/4” deep, since we are dovetailing together two boards, 3/4” thick. Thanks to the miracle of Pixelmator, I can rotate these lines and lay them end-to-end.

image

This surprised me. As it turns out, the long grain-to-long grain surfaces add up to an area that’s larger than the area of the end of the board itself. Most woodworkers, when they think of strong glue joints, think of a long grain edge-to-edge joint such as you would use to glue up a panel. This shows that a dovetail joint can provide more glue surface than an edge-to-edge joint over the same area.

So what if you happen to be a fan of fancy London pattern dovetail joints? We can redo the layout like this.

image

And layout the glue surfaces like in the first example.

image

And we find that the glue surfaces provided by this dovetail joint work out to be just about the same surface area as the end of the board.

Of course, if you have a wide enough board and wide enough tails, you’ll get to a point where the glue surface is going to be significantly smaller than the area covered by the end of the board. After playing around with some layouts, I found that you had to get to a point where the width of the tails were about three times the thickness of the board before this would be a factor. And at that point, the joint itself just starts looking weird to my eyes. I don’t think I’m alone in this. An image search of London pattern dovetails did not turn up many examples of this joint with very wide tails.

Slayer!

Audrey and Kate are simultaneously too awesome and too cute for words.

   Anonymous asked:

Hi there, what's the best site to identify Japanese chisel black smiths and the makers ? Hope to hear from you soon. Kind regards.

Japan Tool and Iida Tool have good high quality pictures of a number of chisels.

Daiku Dojo has a gallery of Japanese planes identified by maker. This gallery is for planes, so this probably won’t help you with chisels.

But beyond that, there’s not much in the way of a field guide to Japanese tool stamps. I always keep in mind that back in Japan and historically, there are a lot more blacksmiths than we see here in the U.S., so it wouldn’t be unusual to find a Japanese tool with a stamp that is not immediately recognizable. In addition, sometimes blacksmiths would stamp their tools with their particular mark, but also make a secondary line with a different stamp, and it sometimes wouldn’t be clear that the two lines of tools were made by the same blacksmith.

Cleaning a record with wood glue, with impressive results. Props to the maker of this video for using Miles Ahead for this demonstration.

This demo uses Titebond II. Being a fan of hide glue, I wonder if hide glue would work as well. But since hide glue dries harder than PVA glues, I would guess that peeling the glue layer off might be harder with hide glue as opposed to PVA glue.

I had the pleasure of meeting Elaine Stritch thanks to my wife many years ago. There won’t be another like her. Hope you enjoy yourself in Gay Paree, Elaine.